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The place of novels and poems...

From Ernest Hemingway to Pierre Loti, from Aleksei Tolstoy to Agatha Christie, from Fyodor Dostoyevsky to Ibn-i Batuta, thousands of writers, travelers and academics have included Istanbul in their works. While Istanbul is sometimes the place of novels and poems, it has become one of the mysterious travel destinations and exotic memories. Being one of the most important subjects of orientalists of all times, the multiculturalism of Istanbul has been one of the common features in the works.

If we take a brief look at the major works in world literature, starting with contemporary, popular artists;


Agatha Christie

British writer, A. Christie, wrote the novel Murder on the Orient Express in 1933 at Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul. The introduction part of the novel takes place in Istanbul.

The Orient Express at the center of the novel is operated by Wagons-Lits. The Orient Express, known as the "king of trains" and the "train of kings", is the first luxury train in European history. In this luxury train, it is said that the curtains are made of silk, the glasses are made of crystal, and the tables are made of silver. The Orient Express, which has many important names throughout its history; Passing the magnificent European capitals such as Vienna, Budapest, Milan, and Venice, it arrives in Istanbul in approximately 80 hours.

Among the famous passengers of the Orient Express were important people such as French President Paul Dechanel, writer Agatha Christie, spy Mata Hari, Bulgarian King Ferdinand. The Orient Express did not only host important people; It has also been the subject of many books and movies. A. Christie's novel Murder on the Orient Express, American playwright John Dos Passos' book Orient Express, American novelist Graham Greene's novel Stamboul Train, The Times newspaper reporter, novelist, and traveler Edmond About travels his memoirs. De Ponteise à Stamboul were some of the books that included the Orient Express.

The Orient Express witnessed another moment as important as the famous passengers it carried, the books and movies it was the subject of. During the World War I (1914-1918), express voyages could not be made. Between these years, the train was just kept waiting at the station. After the war, one of the wagons was pulled to a forest in France. Here, the settlement agreement that ended the First World War was signed between the German representatives, the French and the British on the 2419 carriage of the Orient Express.

Dan Brown

D. Brown's Inferno; Historical elements, with their mysterious secrets, have taken the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazaar, which are among the historical places of Istanbul, as their venues. The mystery will be solved in Istanbul at the end of the movie, in which Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones starred in D. Brown's novel, which was also adapted to the cinema.

Umberto Eco

U. Eco's Baudolino novel was written by focusing on the events in Byzantium and the Crusades. While writing this novel, U. Eco took the Italian traveler Edmondo de Amicis' travel book about Istanbul in 1874 as a guide.

Orhan Pamuk

Nobel Prize-winning Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk's book Istanbul is an autobiographical work. In this work, Pamuk also described the places of Istanbul, the city he lived in, in his original language. Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence tells the love story of a family from Istanbul. A museum consisting of objects related to the period of the book, under the name of the Museum of Innocence, accepts its visitors around Taksim.

Ibn Battuta

XIV. The Moroccan traveler İbn-i Batuta, who went on an important world trip in the 19th century, gave very complete knowledge about Hagia Sophia and monasteries in Istanbul, one of the important points of the Christian faith, on his journey to Anatolia and Istanbul.

Oqier Ghislain de Busbecq

Busbecq was the ambassador of the German Empire during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. As part of the mission of Istanbul in Letters of Busbecq, letters containing many observations and information about social life in the Ottoman Empire, as well as political events, were published in a book.

François Rene de de Chateaubriand

Istanbul has a very special place in the book Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem by Chateaubriand, one of the founders of the romanticism movement after the French Revolution.

Gérard de Nerval

One of the most powerful writers of French literature, Nerval included İstanbul in the book Traveling to the East, as one of the stops of his travels to the eastern countries.

James Clarence Mangan

Irish poet, J. C. Mangan is one of the most interesting artists among those who include Istanbul in his works. He produced works with elements of Islamic mysticism by being influenced by Turkish Divan literature from far away, without ever coming to Istanbul. Mangan, whom James Joyce sees as a "national poet", is one of the personalities in Joyce's Ullyses.

Adam Mickiewicz

Polish poet Mickiewicz spent the last period of his life in Istanbul, where he continued his struggle. The house in Beyoğlu, where he lost his life, today accepts its visitors as a museum.

Russian travelers: In the published memoirs of three Russian travelers (Vassiliy Polenov, Alexander Koptev, and Evgeniy Markov) who visited Istanbul at the end of the 19th century, it focused on Byzantine artifacts, as well as sections from Islamic artifacts, museums, bazaars, and the daily lives of local people.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky mentioned Istanbul in his novel The Brothers Karamazov and in his book The Diary of a Writer.

Dorina Lady Neave

English intellectual Neave's book Life in Old Istanbul describes Istanbul, like an oriental painting. She lived in Istanbul for 26 years at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.

Ahmed Şevki

In the first years of the 20th century, Egyptian poet Ahmed Şevki visited Istanbul and reflected the love and beauty of Istanbul in his poems.

Petr Andreyevich Tolstoy

Russian ambassador, P. A. Tolstoy tells the life of Nevzorov in Istanbul, who fled the civil war in his autobiography novel Nevzorov's Adventures.

Aleksey Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Russian writer A. N. Tolstoy leaves Moscow after the October Revolution and goes on a long trip. One of the stops of this trip is Istanbul. Tolstoy's books composed during this voyage are Nevzorov's Adventures or Hibiscus and Halki Island.


Ernest Hemingway

E. Hemingway describes the situation of Istanbul in the early 1920s in his work called Istanbul of Occupation.

Stefan Zweig

The first text of the book, The Stars Shining Moments, which includes 12 historical events that shaped world history, written by the Austrian writer S. Zweig as well as writing the biographies of many important people, is the Conquest of Byzantium, in which the conquest of Istanbul is told.

Antonia Susan Drabble

The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, by British female writer A. S. Byatt, is an orientalist work that tells the events that started from a shop in the Grand Bazaar.

Barbara Nadel

Istanbul is the place where almost all of the twelve-book series of Barbara Nadel, one of the contemporary British crime writers, takes place.

Ivo Andric

In the book "Damned Yard" by Nobel Prize-winning Serbian writer Andric, the legendary and mysterious growth of Istanbul is included.

Jason Goodwin

Contemporary British writer and historian Goodwin tells Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, which centers around Yashim, an eunuch detective living in Istanbul in the 19th century, The Janissary Tree, The Snake Stone and The Bellini Card historical novels are set in Istanbul.

Marc Hélys

French feminist journalist Marc Hélys visited many harems in Istanbul, where she came in 1904, and described her impressions in the book Closed Garden.

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